Virtual Manufacturing Summit attracts a global audience

Live networking event brings knowledge, products and resources to your computer


Connecting the world of manufacturing in a new way, the Plant Engineering Virtual Manufacturing Summit convened Tuesday, June 30 to expand on the concepts presented at the 2009 Manufacturing Summit in Charleston, SC.
Sponsored by IBM, Schneider Electric and Infor, the Virtual Summit attracted more than 900 registrants from 69 countries - literally everywhere from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. "The global reach of the first Virtual Manufacturing Summit was one of the most exciting parts of this event," said Plant Engineering publisher Jim Langhenry. "We were pleased to be able to share the content from the Manufacturing Summit with more people. We thank both our attendees as well as the presenters who provided dynamic content for our visitors."
The event began with a keynote presentation from Jamie McDonald of Schneider Electric, and four presentations followed:
• NFPA 70E 2009: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, Joseph Weigel, Square D
• Energy and Sustainability, Rod Ellsworth, Infor
• Workforce Development, Bill Wilder, Life Cycle Engineering
• Enterprise Asset Management, Mary T. Bunzel, IBM
The event also featured a live chat among participants and attendees. On the subject of arc flash, one participant asked Weigel: "I am doing a study that involves some Square D equipment that has the arc flash terminator in it. How should I approach this in the study? How do you approach any of the arc resistant equipment?"
Weigel replied, "Arc terminator is quite different from arc-resistant equipment, the main difference being that Arc Terminator will operate properly even if the switchgear is open. The Arc Terminator should sense an arc forming and clear it within 4 miliseconds which eliminates the arc hazard. However, a good practice even with Arc Terminator installed is to wear PPE appropriate to the arc flash hazard incident energy that is calculated."
Another attendee, who works for a small manufacturer, asked if the ideas presented during the Virtual Summit were scalable to smaller operations. "In the case of workforce development I suggest selecting partners who subscribe to the concepts we discussed," said Wilder. "That is, they understand that learning is a process that extends beyond the classroom, they offer the tools you can use to apply impact maps and follow through, and they deliver learning that is active, relevant, self directed, and accesses prior knowledge."
"I would also submit that its important to consider bringing in talent from cross industry, places where they may have implemented improvements in balancing production or in inventory logistics for example," Bunzel added.
"On the subject of energy management, Ellsworth told an attendee, "integrating energy and environmental management needs to be facilitated through the maintenance, control, and design change processes and as well as the interdependent functions."
The live version of the 2009 Virtual Summit is over, but the archived version will still be available at beginning July 2 at 10 a.m. EDT. This will give those who missed the day's events another chance to see the Webcast, register for prizes and ask questions of the participants.
Registration for the Virtual Summit is free, and is now under way at

To register, click here .



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